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Police arrest 2 teens in Georgia baby killing

By Russ Bynum

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:57 a.m. HST, Mar 23, 2013

BRUNSWICK, Ga. » The mother of a baby gunned down in his stroller says she has no doubt a teenage suspect is the man who killed her 13-month-old son, but family members say he wasn't anywhere near the scene.

"That's definitely him," Sherry West said today when she saw the jail mugshot of 17-year-old De'Marquise Elkins, who is charged as an adult with first-degree murder. Police also arrested a 14-year-old who has not been identified because he's a minor.

"We're trying to determine which one actually was the shooter," police spokesman Todd Rhodes said today.

But West said she was certain the gunman was the older suspect. "He killed my baby, and he shot me, too," she said.

On Thursday morning, West was pushing Antonio Santiago in his stroller after a trip to the post office. She said a teen, accompanied by a smaller boy, asked her for money.

"And he kept asking, and I just said, 'I don't have it.' And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' And I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!'" she said.

One of the teens fired four shots, then walked around to the stroller and shot the baby in the face.

Police announced the arrests of Elkins and the 14-year-old Friday afternoon. But Katrina Freeman, Elkins' aunt, said today that he couldn't be the killer because the two were together at the time of the shooting.

Freeman said Elkins dropped by her home about 8:15 a.m. — roughly an hour before the shooting — and she cooked them grits, eggs and sausage for breakfast.

They stayed at her home until about 11 a.m., Freeman said, and then Elkins accompanied her and her children on some errands for about an hour. After noon, he left for classes he's taking to earn his GED, she said.

"He was with us the whole time," said Freeman, adding that she gave police the same account of her nephew's whereabouts. "There is no doubt in my mind that he is innocent."

Brunswick police have said little about what evidence led them to Elkins or the younger suspect. Police spokesman Todd Rhodes said today that he's not surprised Elkins' aunt would try to protect him.

"That's what she's saying, but the evidence we're looking at says something else," Rhodes said. He would not elaborate. He said investigators still can't say what motivated the shootings.

Elkins' older sister said her brother had been living in Atlanta and returned to Brunswick only a few months ago. On Friday morning, as her brother made his way along the sidewalk to her home, police came to her door, she said.

"The police came pointing a Taser at him, telling him to get on the ground," she said. "He said, 'What are you getting me for? Can you tell me what I did?'"

Today, police released recordings of three 911 calls made by West's neighbors right after the shooting.

One caller, sobbing, tells the operator she heard three gunshots. The woman says she saw the mother lay the child on the ground to try to revive him with CPR.

"Yes, I heard the shots. Somebody shot this child," the caller said. "She's got him on the ground. Please, we need everything we can get."

One caller solemnly tells an operator: "No, the baby's not breathing." He says the child was shot "right between the eyes."

A woman can be heard screaming in the background just before police arrive and sirens drown out her cries.

No callers reported seeing the shootings, and police said the three calls were the only ones they knew of.

At her apartment today, West had filled several bags with her son's clothes and diapers to donate to charity. She said she hopes prosecutors pursue the death penalty in the case.

"My baby will never be back again," West said, sobbing. "He took an innocent life. I want his life, too."

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Grimbold wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 23,2013 | 04:54AM
hanalei395 wrote:
The discussion Grimbold would like to see, is a discussion of HIS favorite words..."It's their culture". If it is proven that these two teens did this terrible crime, the 17-year-old WILL BE "put to sleep"....immediately... with the 14-year-old, the same, in three years.
on March 23,2013 | 05:36AM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
on March 23,2013 | 05:43AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Not twice,many many times.
on March 23,2013 | 03:02PM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
on March 23,2013 | 05:43AM
niimi wrote:
So is there a new derogatory term, "Culturalist!"? Usage: "That man is bad. He's a culturalist!"
on March 23,2013 | 10:47AM
hanalei395 wrote:
This guy was waiting for you. He wants somebody to discuss "their culture" (Blacks), with him.
on March 23,2013 | 10:56AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Guns killings babies, Again!
on March 23,2013 | 03:00PM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
There's proof that blacks can also become the president of the United States.
on March 23,2013 | 05:41AM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
Let's see, Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, killing in Colorado of the head of the corrections facility.....nope....no blacks involved in those killings.
on March 23,2013 | 05:49AM
niimi wrote:
but on a unitized basis, the per-incident rate is not only a short term event, it is a statistically proven trend. Excalibir2, your examples are misplaced in that mass killings tend to be carried out with considerable deliberation and planning, with pent up anger towards something that builds over time. That whereas blacks commit homicide with many times more frequency, and with far less planning. Why do you suppose that is?
on March 23,2013 | 10:51AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Pent u anger? Pure pent up HATE.
on March 23,2013 | 03:04PM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
So you're basically saying you're more likely to get murdered by blacks with little or no planning at all?....pretty much stating how you're gonna die?....I suppose it's that way because people like you take the easy route by restating what's already been acknowledged instead of trying to fix a problem that definitely could affect you and your family...you and your family could end up just as dead as any other victim with "far less planning." You'd do yourself a favor by being part of a solution.
on March 23,2013 | 04:26PM
niimi wrote:
Yes, but that and other successes are aberrations at best. When a person thinks they are a victim that is a problem. When a culture thinks they are a victim that is an epidemic. Japanese on the mainland overwhelmingly lost everything they had at internment. Many were bitter and vocal afterward, but the bottom line was that their culture defined them to never be a victim but instead you control your own destiny, to just pick up and move on with life. And they did, and they thrived. Jewish after WWII? They lost millions of their people in death camps. Instead they flourished and thrived. And the Jewish in the world have been picked on as victims far longer than Blacks have been slaves in the Americas.
on March 23,2013 | 11:25AM
palani wrote:
Your comment is racist, Grimbold. Cultural, religious, social, family, and economic variables all factor into not only crime statistics, but academic performance as well.
on March 23,2013 | 05:52AM
Grimbold wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 23,2013 | 07:31AM
Sid_Hartha wrote:
on March 23,2013 | 09:30AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
One fact, grim is how lee. Guarenteed!
on March 23,2013 | 02:58PM
niimi wrote:
Palani, I don't think Grimbold means to be racist at all, but rather stimulating a discussion. I don't think posing a question in that manner is racist. So to your point the blame is not on race, but the underpinnings of the race, including culture, religion, socioeconomic status and family. Is black culture embracing of such behavior as compared to other culture including European, American-Anglo, American Latino, American-Mexican (there is a difference between Latino and Mexican), American-Asian (or even getting more granular to specific Asian cultures), Native-American? YOu mentioned social and economic variables: What do you think their culture should do? Successful examples from black society have been cast aside as being non-black by their success, among those Bill Cosby, Wynton Marsalis. Read Bill Cosby's speech to the NACCP, which ended emphatically with the statement, "We cannot blame the white people any longer."
on March 23,2013 | 11:14AM
menehunemimi wrote:
"Cultural, religious, social, family, and economic variables " - I agree, it doesn't matter what race/ethnic group they were born into, many (not all) people raised within the above variables feel no hope, see no other viable way to behave than the ones they observe in their neighborhoods. They see being educated, using standard English, dressing neatly as selling out to the "white" mainstream.
on March 23,2013 | 07:37PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I'd like to see a discussion on how racist your comment is. I believe that the statistics you are referring to were culled from statistics from 2000 to 2004. Further, statistics are problematic when they are culled from cities that have a high proportion of blacks. Of course, you will find a higher rate amongst the race that is predominant in the area. Yes, blacks are at a higher proportion in the prison systems but you have to look at the economic background of these offenders. Many are from low income areas and may have grown up in difficult situations where abuse and crime is the norm. You cannot necessarily state that blacks are inherently criminally minded. It is the possible oppressive environment that many of them are born in. Yes, many overcome the situation and go on to become successful people. "Within the study that I believe that you are pulling this data from also states that: black men represented the largest proportion of sentenced male inmates at year end 2006 (38%); white men made up 34%; and Hispanic men, 21%. Taken from Crime Rates and Conviction Rates Broken Down by Race by George Coppolo, Chief Attorney of Connecticut at the date of the study and Kevin McCarthy, Principal Analyst. Please note that at the time of the report there were questions regarding the data.
on March 23,2013 | 01:07PM
palani wrote:
"My brother has a good heart", said the suspect's sister.

I hope that it soon ceases to beat.

on March 23,2013 | 05:42AM
niimi wrote:
If this was in pidgin, "My bruddah one good boy. He nevah do nottin wrong. He get one good haht."
on March 23,2013 | 10:46AM
hanalei395 wrote:
A quote describing niimi's bruddah.
on March 23,2013 | 11:39AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
niimi can you do the phase in Southern drawl? How about Boston or New York accent. In Russian, Chinese or German? Just wondering.
on March 23,2013 | 03:10PM
screaming_banshee wrote:
My condolences to the parents of that beautiful baby! My heart breaks for them! I hope that Georgia has the death penality and isn't afraid to use it in this case!
on March 23,2013 | 09:47AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
It's astounding that someone could be so heartless and cold to shoot a baby and his mom for no provocation at all except out of simple robbery. These murderers should life without parole in solitary if they don't get the death penalty.
on March 23,2013 | 10:09AM
tim5fl wrote:
Does Georgia have the death penality?
on March 23,2013 | 12:30PM
5xcalibir2 wrote:
If it's an aberration, son, you better get used to it....for your sake....cause it's happening more and more, and as much as you hate it....there's nothing you can do about it.
on March 23,2013 | 04:30PM
Anonymous wrote:
on March 24,2013 | 02:04AM
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